Meet the Staff
Melissa Donald Donovan, Chief Operating Officer,
The Center for Health and Wellnesss
Melissa is in her 15th year at JCC Manhattan where her role converges her passion for community-building and proficiency in strategic planning. She supervises the directorial staff, strategy and operations of the Fitness, Athletics, Aquatics, Health & Wellness, Membership, Registration and After School areas of the JCC. Melissa loves working broadly across these departments to produce programs for children and adults of all ages, support key partnerships, ensure member service and smooth program operations, create performance measures and analytics, and supervise the JCC's talented and committed staff. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and also the Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership. She was recipient of the 2017 JCC Award for Staff Excellence. She lives on the UWS with her husband (who she met at the JCC), three children and dog, and enjoys being active in the JCC Nursery School Parent Association.
Caroline Kohles, Senior Director,
The Center for Health and Wellness
A fitness professional for over 22 years, Caroline is co-founder of Nia New York™ and a First Generation Nia Trainer in White, Green, Blue, and Brown Belts. She holds certifications in yoga, indoor cycling, personal training, and 5 Rhythms. A former professional dancer with a passion for anatomy, Caroline is drawn to using movement to help special populations. In her 10 years at the JCC, Caroline has been instrumental in leading the JCC's diverse and progressive slate of fitness programming. Her signature work includes the cancer care programs in partnership with the Comprehensive Breast Center at Mount Sinai Roosevelt, the award-winning JCC and NYU Langone Medical Center's Parkinson's program, our popular triathlon training program partnership with JackRabbit Sports, and many emerging nutrition and brain health programs.
Whitney Chapman, Fitness Production Manager
Originally from Kansas, Whitney has been a fitness professional since college where she started the first Intramural Aerobics Program at the University of Missouri, Columbia. While at MIzzou, she was selected and trained to work in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Boone Hospital, a leading Cardiac Rehabilitation facility in the area, teaching fitness to individuals in the rehabilitation program. Whitney holds multiple certifications in a variety of disciplines including Interdisciplinary Yoga, Pilates Mat, Zena Rommett Floor Barre, Allied Team Training for Parkinson's, and Exclusive Yoga for Women Living with Cancer. Whitney is proud to in the first class of certified MELT Instructors and has been teaching MELT it since its inception.
Christian Ramirez, Fitness Operations Manager
For as long as Christian can remember, he’s had an appreciation for all forms of movement. When he wasn't playing, running, or dancing, he was taking things apart trying to figure out how they work. Working in a fitness center is a natural fit; he enjoys being part of a team that's excited to provide our members an opportunity to enhance their day through awareness, movement, and community.
Joelle Evans, Program Associate
Joelle has worked with the JCC for the past 3 years, first on the fitness floor at the front desk and now as the Health and Wellness Program Associate. Previously she worked as an Executive Assistant at YAI - Premier HealthCare. She is an avid fan of health and wellness and loves to workout, swim, run, ride her bike and play with her niece and nephews. So happy to be a part of the JCC family.